Let us begin with Christianity. Simply put, Christianity views divorce as a tragedy, whether or not it was caused by biblically justifiable circumstances. Divorce has no positive connotation in the Christian mind at all.

In fact, one of the main scriptures referenced by Christians regarding divorce is a quotation from the prophet Malachi – “He (God) hates divorce” (Mal.2:16), a Christian can only view divorce negatively (We will see in future posts that there is a serious reason to doubt this translation from Hebrew).

But what about Judaism? Does Judaism view divorce positively? No, but neither does it have an inherently negative view of it. Divorce is viewed as a necessary step in a broken world for couples who have truly arrived at a point where they are no longer able to continue in their marriage.

Divorce in Judaism is not a badge of honor, but unlike Christianity, it is not a priori a tragedy or sin. In Judaism, divorce may be granted for a variety of qualified reasons. While Judaism does not view divorce as something to be desired or pursued, but as something that is nevertheless legitimate under some circumstances (such as marital unfaithfulness, domestic violence or spousal neglect).

In other words, there is something that Judaism recognizes that Christianity, generally speaking, does not: The only thing worse than divorce is a bad marriage.

While hurting children is a byproduct of almost every divorce, the values and practices of a bad marriage, which children daily witness, will become a greater hindrance to their happy, fulfilled, and productive lives as future adults than even the temporary pain of an emotionally restructured life.

What do you friends think? Is this about right, or have I mis-characterized either Christian or Jewish position? (Obviously it is much more complex than that, but we will explore this important topic in much more depth in the weeks to come).

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

143 COMMENTS

  1. I think that's an accurate description. Which is why, even in very anti-divorce churches like the Catholic, divorce is as common as among anyone else. Modernity is more "Jewish" in that regard.
  2. The "Tree of Life Version" has a few lessons that tell that under certain circumstances it is the course of action that should be taken.
    • Hi Jerry, can you please tell me what those circumstances are according to the TLV. And maybe you can give me the Scripture references too? Thanks!
  3. Having lived this & the church damming me I read a lot. Summary: Look at the character of a loving God demonstrated in Jesus. His character does nit damm, destroy people,, but forgives, restores, enables new life to grow. To force people to stay in destruction is not Christ like.
  4. Dr. Eli,
    As I have searched the scriptures, I have found various things. My understanding is that a marriage can be ended if there is a) marital unfaithfulness or b) death (obvious). Other than that, the couple must stick it out.
    J
    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Story of Our Hebrew Fathers: Abraham and Isaac or Leviticus and The New Testament. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!
    • According to Paul, couples may live apart if they cannot live together, but they must remain celibate.Believers are not required to remain in abusive relationships.

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    • I disagree---- If the husband is a child abuser,wife abuser,you say they should stick it out? The husband gambles all the money with NOTHING left to buy food,etc. stick together? The husband is never home,always out with friends,stick together? The husband has a mistress and a family in another province.

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    • I felt the same way you did, but after 20 of a 25 year marriage to a woman who hated my guts and never appreciated anything I did for her. I went through a rough time with my job and career and contemplated suicide. Divorce can be a gift

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  5. Thanks, Much the same conclusion I came to a number of years ago as well. Looking forward to more information on this.
  6. While I believe that every divorce is not a tragedy, I believe divorce in general is very sad, especially if children are involved. I am a counselor and I have found that many marriages that are in trouble can be helped and restored if both parties are willing. And that is the caveat: "if both parties are willing". Many times they are not if they are all ready involved with another person sexually, but even sometimes then, their is hope and forgiveness.
  7. Which view do you think is closer to biblically accurate? When I say biblically I mean old and new testaments. It concerns me that many Christian's are rigid in their opinion as to what Yeshua said but that there is a whole opposite viewpoint that takes marriage too lightly especially when viewed from scripture where Paul compares earthy marriage covenant to our relationship with God. Very deep topic I am interested to hear more.....
  8. I have actually gone through two divorces.One where neither parties were committed Christians & the other where I became a Christian half way through our 4 yr marriage to find that my ex husband committed adultery.
    • Me too, after lies were spread around, my wife walked away, since then (23 years ago) I have continued to live as a single celebrate man, and walk closer to Jesus. He has honoured that.
  9. I think you're right. In fact, for further discussion, I'd recommend reading chapter 5 from Dallas Willard's Divine Conspiracy where he talks about divorce from Jesus' statements in Matthew 5.
  10. From what I have studied, t5he translation should read, "God hates 'setting aside.'" Which is what Jews were doing by emulating nearby pagan cultures. That is, setting aside a wife and taking on a new one with a real divorce from the original wife...which then left the women in limbo.
    • Greg, we will look at this soon more carefully. But to my surprise the HEBREW does not have GOD hating at all (it is actually difficult to see HOW translators got God into this).

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